We just had another full week of watching Justin Trudeau use every defensive trick to push back against allegations of Chinese interference in our elections. Beyond the strategy, we are curious to know what he really thinks about China deep down.
Believe me, the decisions of a political leader are not just the result of calculations. They are generally tinged with his deep thought and his convictions.
Let's go back to Thursday, November 7, 2013. In a reception room from Toronto, Justin Trudeau participates in an evening conference with businesswomen.
These have paid to hear a relaxed Justin Trudeau present his vision of Canada to them.
Justin Trudeau had just taken over the reins of the Liberal Party and was beginning to rebuild the party in preparation for the election. Political leaders take part in dozens of these activities, both to raise essential funds, but also to promote themselves and spread their message.
After giving his customary spiel, Justin Trudeau arrives at the sympathetic stage of answering the questions of the women present. Nothing too rocket science.
- Listen to Mario Dumont's show every day from 3:30 p.m. on QUB radio:
Mr. Trudeau is at his best in the genre closeness he creates in this kind of exercise.
Then comes this lady with an original question. “After Canada, what is the other country you admire the most?
What an answer!
Justin Trudeau's answer would go down in history. “I have a certain admiration for China because their dictatorial regime…can transform their economy in the blink of an eye…”
Of all the countries in the world, he chooses China! Amazing answer for someone who aspires to rule a democracy. Answer which earned him a shower of criticism.
Nevertheless, everything indicates to us that it was an honest answer, which reflected an impression well anchored in his thoughts.
His response is a reflex. In an instant, he reveals what comes spontaneously to his mind. We all understand that if he had weighed the pros and cons with a team of advisors, he would never have answered that.
- Listen to the Latraverse-Dumont meeting with Emmanuelle Latraverse at the microphone of Mario Dumont on QUB radio:
Zone of vulnerability
How not to think back to that statement ten years later when he became Prime Minister and Chinese interference is the order of the day.
The author of the 2013 reply a- did he have the right reflexes at all stages? Has he always had a lucid reading of the reality of relations with Xi Jinping's China?
One thing is certain, the subject of China is a terrain of vulnerability for Justin Trudeau. Because of this, evasions and hesitation become even more damaging.
Discomfort accumulates. A former president of the Trudeau Foundation is the one the Prime Minister has appointed to report on interference in our elections.
The Trudeau Foundation repays the dubious donation of a Chinese billionaire seven years later .
Even on the surface, nothing this week could reassure Canadians.